We arrived just after 10am and once we found parking, set off to see what we could see. The only complaint I had about the entire day was the parking--it wasn't clear to me, someone who'd never been to the festival before, where we were supposed to park. Like I said, the only problem we had all day!
After briefly visiting the Collingswood Public Library to use the restroom, we started wandering among the many, many tents set up. I'm the first to admit I'm a little over obsessive in planning, so I already had a list of who we wanted to see when. We managed to pick up books for all of my neices and nephews and had them autographed by the authors. Yay, some Christmas shopping is done!
Jenna was intrigued by the author of the Monsters Detective Agency books, who, I'll admit, had a great spiel for kids. He appointed them detectives and gave them ID cards and pins (Jenna got a wallet, too). The dedication page of the book we purchased said, "To Jenna and Jessica," so Jenna was equally thrilled that the author's daughter shared her name!
My goal of the day was to meet Kieran Scott, who I'd been emailing back and forth trying to secure an author visit for my library. She was happy to meet me (I think), and definitely happy to see fellow Giants fans. We have since set a tentative date for her to visit, so YAY! I had her autograph a book for me, too.
Then we got in line for Dan Gutman, the main reason my daughter wanted to come to the festival. He writes, among other things, the Weird School Daze series, which Jenna loves. We got in line just as he was setting up and had to wait about 20 minutes to see him. Jenna was impatient, but I tried to explain that 1. he was spending time with his fans and would do the same for her, and 2. the line was only going to get worse (which it did). By the time Jenna reached the front of the line, we had 5 books for him to sign. He was really nice and autographed each book a little differently (3 were for Jenna; 2 were gifts), so it wasn't the same standard signature each time. He's also, I realized, a lefty. Jenna is the only lefty in our family, so I've become accustomed to pointing out other south paws to her. Oh, and the line? Waaayyy long by the time we were done!
Jenna and Dan Gutman
After visiting with Dan Gutman, we made our way over to Jonathan Maberry's table to purchase his latest book. I saw Matthew Quick and *almost* picked up a book for him to sign, but didn't. Should have. We heard Tony Abbott a little, but Jenna wasn't too interested in sitting. We also saw Wendy Mass, but again, didn't get anything signed. I was hoping she would have had her newest book, The Candymakers. I would have definitely picked that one up, but with a release date of today, I guess it wasn't meant to be.
We were done by 1pm, believe it or not. I think next year Jenna might want to sit for the author presentations, and I'll definitely plan to arrive earlier, to get a closer parking spot (to make trips to the car to drop off books!), but overall it was a great day. And yes, we are already planning to attend next year's festival!
If you want to check it out for yourself, here's the official webpage.
So, here's what we bought--all signed!
For me (how is it I only came home with 2 books for myself?)
- Geek Magnet by Kieran Scott
- Rot & Ruin by Jonathan Maberry
- The Christmas Genie (& 1 for a gift),
- Miss Mary is Scary! (& 1 for a gift), and
- Miss Patty is Batty! all by Dan Gutman
- Will Allen and the Great Monster Detective by Jason Edwards
- The Knot Fairy by Bobbie Hinman
- I Love the Night and
- I Love the Alphabet by Dar Hosta
- This Tree Counts! by Alison Ashley Formento